Banana Bread Brownies

Hi there– Saw these banana bread brownies on Pinterest and knew they’d be in our kitchen soon!  I’ve eaten a few (delicious!!) and am taking the rest over to my father-in-law, Stu.  He’s my enthusiastic baking recipient.  We have mutual love of sweet treats.

BANANA BREAD BROWNIES

Brownies:
1 large banana, smashed
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped*

Glaze:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1  1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tab. milk

Smash the bananas in a mixing bowl.  Stir in the sugar, egg and sour cream.  Then mix in the melted butter and vanilla.  Finally stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and walnuts.

Spoon the batter into a 7″ x 11″ baking dish (or 9″ square) that has been spray with cooking spray.  Bake it up at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, until it is golden on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Mix up the glaze ingredients– melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk, beating until it’s smooth.  And pour directly over the hot banana brownies.  Enjoy!

*That’s a lot of walnuts!  The recipe I worked from used 1/2 cup, but I just like things nutty.

Almond Mocha Brownies


Hey all- Do you have an absolute favorite flavor of ice cream??  Mine is Jamocha Almond Fudge.  I usually  intend to try a different flavor, but when it comes down to it, I pretty much always end up with JAF.

So here is the best ice cream translated into brownies–  Mocha flavored brownies topped with rich creamy almond studded cream cheese frosting.  I’m embarrassed to say how many of these I ate!

ALMOND MOCHA BROWNIES

Brownies:
1 family size brownie mix (for a 9″x 13″ pan size)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 tab. instant coffee (about one small instant coffee packet)

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter, melted (1/2 stick)
2 tab. unsweetened cocoa*
4 oz. cream cheese (1/2 box)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tab. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup whole roasted almonds, cut in half

Mix up the brownies according to the instructions on the box (mine used 1/2 cup oil, 1/3 cup water and 2 eggs).  Stir in the instant coffee until it’s all blended in.

Spoon the brownie batter into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it up at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let the brownies cool before you add the frosting.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to combine the melted butter and the unsweetened cocoa.  Then use the mixer to beat in the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  (Start the mixer on low so you don’t send all the powdered sugar flying!)

Then stir in the almonds and spoon the frosting over the cooled brownies.  Enjoy!

*I like Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cocoa

Coconut Peanut Butter Brownies

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Hello bog friends– Been crazy days around here.  End of school, birthdays, showers, I’ve barely had time to cook up something to send along to you.  Been eating a lot of cobbled together dinners, completely unblogable.  But Saturday night I was asked to bring a dessert to an evening with friends and here it is…

I love brownies, hands down– and peanut butter– and coconut macaroons.  But all together???   Well, I gave it a try and these were really luscious.  It takes a few bowls, bouts of mixing, but these sweet things are definitely worth it!  Hope you give them a try too…

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COCONUT PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES

Brownies:
Brownie mix for a 8×8″ pan.
oil
egg
water

Peanut Butter layer:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tab. milk
2 tab. yogurt

Coconut layer:
1 large egg white
2 cups shredded coconut
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

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Make the brownie according to the directions on the box.  Spread the batter into a 8″ square or 9″ round pan* that has been sprayed with cooking spray and put it into a 350 degree over for 25 minutes.

Take out the brownie ayer and let it cook for a few minutes, while you mix up the other layers.

To make the peanut butter layer, use an electric mixer to beat together the peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar and egg.  Then mix in the milk and yogurt.  Set this aside.

To make the coconut layer, beat the egg white several minutes until stiff peaks form –works well if you have a whisk attachment on your electric mixer.  Set that aside.  In another bowl stir together the coconut, condensed milk, vanilla and salt.  Then gently fold in the egg whites until it’s all blended.

Then pour the peanut butter layer over the brownie layer in the pan.  And gently drop small spoonfuls of the coconut mixture over the peanut butter layer until it’s all covered.  Put it all back into the oven for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the top layers are set and firm.  (if the coconut starts to brown before the baking is finished, cover the pan with foil.

Take it out of the oven, and here’s the hard part.  Let it cool for an hour for the brownies to firm up before you cut them into tidy pieces to serve.

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Brownie Bites with Chocolate Ganache

DSC00721Hello there– it goes without saying that we do love brownies around here.  And add a swirl of chocolate ganache on top and well, that’s all the better!

My grandma was a healthy eater, grew up on a farm down south.  But she would always say she needed a small bite of sweet at the end of a meal.  I think she would have thought these mini brownies were just about right– a little indulgence to cap off dinner.

BROWNIE BITES WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Brownies:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1/4 cup dark cocoa*
1 tsp. instant coffee**
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup flour

Ganache:
1/4 cup cream
1 tab. butter
2/3 cup chocolate chips (4 oz.)
cute little candies to drop on top***

Melt the butter in a microwave proof mixing bowl and then stir in the cocoa and instant coffee granules.

Stir in the sugar and eggs, vanilla and flour.  Spoon the batter into mini muffin cups****

Pop them into at 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the brownies are firm to the touch.

Let them cool, while you make the ganache.

Heat the butter and cream together in a saucepan, just until it begins to simmer.  Take it off the heat and stir in the chocolate.  Beat it for a couple minutes with a wooden spoon until it’s smooth and satiny.

Drizzle the ganache over the brownies and top them with the cutest little candies you can find.  Ready to eat!

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*My favorite is the Hershey’s Dark unsweetened chocolate powder
**The recipe I worked from called for Espresso powder– not available at my market so I used instant coffee granules– adds a nice richness to the chocolate.
***Got the cute little red candies at Crate & Barrel –but there are bins of cute candies at those candy shops in the mall.
**** You can use mini muffin papers, or just spray mini muffin trays with cooking spray.

Brownie Peanut Butter Cheesebake Bars

IMG_9913Hey there– This is a “What shall I take along to the bar-b-que potluck?” kind of recipe– a sweet chocolatey square at the end of a savory meal.  There’s the chewy brownie layer on bottom, creamy cheesy peanut butter in the middle and rich chocolate ganache to top it off.  It’s almost a Reese’s peanut butter cup in a baking pan.  Hope you try it!!

BROWNIE PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE BARS

Brownie layer:
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) melted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa*
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup flour

Peanut butter layer:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup peanut butter**
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Ganache:
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tab. butter
2 tab. corn syrup (optional)***
1  1/3 cup chocolate chips (8 oz.)

To make the brownie layer, melt the butter in the microwave and mix in just the cocoa to form a pretty chocolate paste.  The stir in the sugar and vanilla.  Whisk in the eggs and finally thoroughly stir in the flour.

Scrape the brownie batter into a 9″ (or 7’x11″) baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Set it aside for now.

For the peanut butter layer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter with an electric mixer.  Then beat in the sugar, egg and vanilla.

Drop the mixture by small spoonfuls over the brownie batter in the pan.  And with a knife, oh so carefully, spread the peanut butter mixture over the brownies, careful not to mix the two layers. (This is the only tricky part!)

Pop that all into the oven a 350 degrees for 30 to 35  minutes–until the brownies are cooked through.  Poke the tip of a small knife in to see if you pull out small crumbs.

When it’s cooled, bring the cream, butter and corn syrup to a low simmer in a pan on the stove top.  Remove it from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until they are all melted.  Then beat it al with a wooden spoon for 3 or 4 minutes.

Spread the chocolate ganache over the brownies and set it into the fridge for an hour or so until the topping sets up firm and then cut into delicious squares!

*We love the Hershey’s dark unsweetened baking cocoa.
** the recipe I worked from asked for creamy peanut butter– but I used super chunky–love all those little peanut bits!
*** I often leave out the corn syrup– but it does give the ganache that pretty shine.

Rocky Road Brownies

IMG_9712Hello there– These brownies aren’t pretty, but they are legendary around our family.  It seems my sister Lulu noticed this tall, handsome guy named Ted when they were in school.  But he had a girlfriend.  So as they got acquainted, my sis made him a pan of these brownies, just to be friendly, you know.  And that was it.  He was taken with Lulu and her brownies (so long girlfriend)  and 35 years and 4 kids later, she’s still baking him treats.

So if you have someone you hope to impress, or if you just like luscious brownie treats, these are what you’re looking for…

ROCKY ROAD BROWNIES —
or the brownies that won Ted’s heart.

Brownie layer:
1 brownie mix for a 9″x13″ pan (family size)
oil
water
eggs

Filling:
6 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 tab. flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter*
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Frosting:
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup pecans, chopped (or more if you like them as much as I do)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix up the brownie mix according to the instructions on the box, adding eggs, oil and water.  Scrape it into a 9″x13″ pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

For the filling, use the electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, butter, egg and vanilla.  Drop it in dollops over the uncooked brownie mix and carefully spread it over the brownie layer.

Pop both layers into the oven together and bake it up at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until it’s cooked through and firm to the touch.

Immediately sprinkle the 2 cups of mini marshmallows and pecans over the brownies as they come out of the oven.  Then put them back in the oven at 350 degrees for just 2 minutes!

While they are cooling a bit, make the frosting.  In a microwave proof bowl, melt the butter and chocolate chips together (about 1 minute).  Then, with an electric mixer, beat in the cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar and vanilla.

Pour the warm frosting over the baked, marshmallow topped brownies.  Cool and cut into yummy bars to share with a friend.

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Toffee Pecan Brownies

IMG_7910Hi friends– We spent the last weekend with about 40 of our best friends at a little get away down towards the beach.  It was low key– meals out on the patio, crazy games with lots of laughing and shrieking involved,  worthwhile conversations and a 6 mile walk down along the shore.

Also there was a table involving goodies of all sorts.  I dropped a plate of these brownies into the mix.  They’re easy to make in the middle of packing a suitcase and do travel well in an old plastic container.  Just right for sharing with friends…

TOFFEE PECAN BROWNIES
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1/4 cup dark cocoa*
1 tsp. instant coffee**
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup flour
3 Heath candy bars, chopped***
1/2 cup pecans, chopped to nice bits

Stir together the melted butter, dark cocoa and coffee granules.  Then mix in the eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Finally blend in the flour just until it’s a dark creamy mess of batter.

Scrape all the batter into a 9″ square  of 11″x7″ baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle on the bits of candy bar and then the pecans.  Pop it into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes (please don’t bake too long and let them dry out.).

Cut into polite little squares and enjoy with a friend to two (or more).

*I love, love the Hershey’s Dark cocoa– so darn chocolaty!!
**Just a little sleeve of that generic instant coffee equals a teaspoon– makes the chocolate all the richer.
***Heath bars, Skor bars, any toffee-ish candy bar

IMG_7912     IMG_7915Here’s the crew  that crossed with the ferry and trekked down to the beach.  Love you guys!!  (nice hats!)